Journal of toxicology and environmental health

Fungal metabolism of 3-nitrofluoranthene.

PMID 8207756


We investigated the metabolism of 3-nitrofluoranthene by filamentous fungus, Cunninghamella elegans ATCC 36112. Cunninghamella elegans metabolized about 72% of the 3-nitro[3,4-14C]fluoranthene added during 144 h of incubation to 2 major metabolites. These metabolites were separated by reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography and identified as 3-nitrofluoranthene-8-sulfate and 3-nitrofluoranthene-9-sulfate by 1H nuclear magnetic resonance, UV-visible, and mass spectral techniques. These results, in conjunction with previous studies on the fungal metabolism of fluoranthene, indicate that the nitro substituent at the C-3 position of fluoranthene sterically hinders epoxidation and shifts metabolism to the C-8 and C-9 positions. Since the phenolic microsomal metabolites of 3-nitrofluoranthene are mutagenic, the formation of sulfate conjugates of 8- and 9-hydroxy-3-nitrofluoranthene by C. elegans suggests that the fungal metabolic pathways may be beneficial for detoxification of this ubiquitous pollutant.

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